For 1991 Oldsmobile’s Ninety-Eight was dramatically redesigned. It went from having an ultra-conservative, formal design (which I was a big fan of), to an edgy, look-how-different-I-am appearance.
Let’s take a look at some of the steps stylists took during the model’s transformation
From introvert to attention getter
I remember when I was young, wondering about how odd it would be to speak of Oldsmobile’s 88 and 98 models in reference to their corresponding years.
“I drive a ’98 Ninety-Eight.” Or how about, “I drive a ’97 Ninety-Eight”? Well, the awkward phrase was never a problem because the Ninety-Eight model didn’t survive past 1996. What did seem odd, however, is the extroverted design Oldsmobile bestowed their top model with for its eleventh generation.
I personally thought that Oldsmobile’s tenth-generation (the 1985 through 1990) Ninety-Eight was the best looking of its sister C-cars, Buick’s Park Avenue and Cadillac’s De Ville/Fleetwood.
It’s not that I think the 1991 Ninety-Eight is ugly or even unattractive, I just think it wasn’t a stylistic improvement over the outgoing model and betrays an apparent behind-the-scenes priority of visual distinction over best design. Regardless, the 1991 model has some very interesting design cues.
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